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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 21, 2013 11:45am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What's in a name? 'The Grateful Dead'

Well, I suppose it depends on your defn of "mass"...and yeah, as you and Rose point out, the vocals are fine by us, but the question was why weren't they as pop as the Eagles?

The answer could have been, the name, as the poster indicated, or something more...

And, all the posters outlined what the possible "more" answers might be, and one, I think, is in fact, poor vocals.

It was the number one complaint I dealt with in my forty yrs as cheer leader.

I am absolutely serious; my parents, my friends, my former friends: everyone of the hundreds I attempted to convert would at some pt raise this problem

Do you really not have that recollection?

To me, when folks hereabouts don't say "oh yeah, Tell's right about the vocals post 72" it simply means you're an elitist snob that was NOT doing your job.

Not you per se, but truly: if you had been talking up the DEAD for forty yrs, taking on ANY and ALL comers on the topic (I am not making it up, I was always pitching the DEAD the way you guys think I pitch CREAM now)...

If you do that, you find out why so many don't "convert"...

It's not the name, it's not the bass, it's not the actual song writing, except for nonHunter songs...

It's the VOCALs...

Plus, a few other things...but that's what years of experience taught me. And why I know the studio albums were the only way to fight that perception: Am Beauty allows you to argue they are decent enough (but NOT the Beach Boys nor the Eagles...not even CSNY).

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Oct 21, 2013 1:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What's in a name? 'The Grateful Dead'

I do agree with you that vocals are a huge problem and bow to your experience as a cheerleader, as I never really attempted much proselytization - you either got it or you didn't.

I would posit another major issue for the band: most people (our present merry band here excluded) do not like or understand jamming. They can understand one trip through the verse and chorus as a guitar solo, but a 20 minute Playin really tries their patience. This is the heart of the GD experience - pushing boundaries, delving deeper into the mystery.... and the "mass" audience would prefer something more bite-sized and comprehensible. They are not on the bus! If you're not there for that experience, you'll never get the Dead.

Luckily, a couple million of us got it.

How about the songs themselves? Not very many are conducive to "mass" appeal... Wharf Rat won't make top 40. Very few are frothy pop songs, maybe Sugar Mag, Touch or Alabama Getaway....

and I'll quibble with you WT: the vocals were pretty bad before 72; Jerry (and Bob) improved a great deal between 67 and 72, and although Phil had impressive range, his vocals were NEVER good despite being on pitch.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 21, 2013 2:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What's in a name? 'The Grateful Dead'

I dunno; are you telling me there was never a phase where when anyone walked in the door, you said "okay, you gotta hear this!" and that when they said "bleech" you didn't rise up to smite the heathen? Er, muster the evidence, saying "what do you MEAN they can't sing!??" and play Am Beat say, Attics or some such?

You just let them walk all over YOUR band?

Well, I didn't...


It wasn't cause I was insecure; I KNEW they were great and that if YOU just heard what I've heard, you'd be won over...otherwise, how do you defend your appreciation for art?

Are you really willing to accept it's all fad and fashion? There's NOTHING defensible--no standards apply? The drivel spouted off round here about "it's all's all subjective...WHO knows which H2H is BEST???"

Well, tell them Tell knows which frickin H2H is BEST!!!

And, I have some flute recordings to sell you...


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Poster: bluedevil Date: Oct 21, 2013 3:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What's in a name? 'The Grateful Dead'

Best H2H?